We often get used to using a single power supply for a very long period of time. While we do fail to notice the small yet gradual decline at first, the changes start getting more and more noticeable.
So, the question is, do PSU degrade over time?
Yes, the working capacity of a power supply unit degrades over time. It can reach the point where it won’t be able to supply much power to your PC. This will result in frozen screens or frequent shutdowns. An aging power supply won’t be able to deliver much and will struggle to perform as usual.
This article will help you understand the mechanics of a PSU and how it declines with time.
Let’s jump right in!
Do PSU Lose Power Overtime?
Yes, unfortunately, like any other electronic device, PSUs gradually lose their working capacity over time. Despite being manufactured to last a long time, there’s a limit to how long they can keep providing a consistent power supply.
A very common question we get from users is:
How long does a PSU last?
Normally a standard PSU is expected to perform and last for at least 5 years. However, in some cases, it might last up to 10 years.
These parameters are highly relative to the user’s demands and might change based on the use. If your power supply unit is under high load, it can be over-stressed easily. This can eventually lead it to have a shorter lifespan.
Now you know the answer but it’s time to learn the reasons behind it. So, let’s move on to the next part.
Reason Behind Degradation of PSU
We already know that the power supply unit lasts almost like 5 years, sometimes even more. But which part exactly wears out first?
Capacitors are the main component of a PSU that mostly wears out fast.
Unfortunately, if you have a leaky capacitor, your PSU might wear off within a year or two. The situation can get even worse if it reaches the point where your PSU won’t operate with the motherboard.
For this reason, you should always pick a good PSU brand offering satisfactory quality capacitors.
To increase the length of lifespan of a power supply, you have to clean the dust. Blow compressed air in the case and keep it from taking any external/internal damages.
Another reason behind the degradation of PSU is the burning of the fan bearing. And then there can be corrosion in the connectors. It depends on the electroplating used on the power connector. Basically, anything and everything can affect your PSUs lifespan.
So it’s best to check it every one or two months to make sure it stays in good condition. Heavy gaming can end up being very stressful if you’re looking to chew more than your PSU can swallow.
Not only does it significantly reduce your PSUs lifespan, it can also end up hurting your processor. To avoid such unfortunate incidents from happening, one must always pick the PSU best fit for specific operations.
Gaming puts high stress on your PSU, but the same can’t be said for working with 3D software. Again, Mining requires PSU with huge power supplying capabilities. So we took our time to scour the market to pick the best PSU for each purpose. Have a look:
|Best PSU Gaming||Corsair RM850x, 850 Watt PSU||105°C Capacitors|
Wide range of Compatibility
|Best PSU for Mining||Corsair HX1000, 1000 Watt, Fully Modular Power Supply,||Highly Power Efficient|
Zero RPM fan mode
|Best PSU for 3D Modeling/ Rendering||DeepCool 850W ATX12V / EPS12V Full Modular Power Supply||10 years warranty|
Very Low-noise operator
If you’re about to build your dream PC with the best components, we suggest you pick these PSUs based on your working purpose.
We highly recommend you choose your power supply based on your PC’s specs.
Now, back to the topic:
Another factor that plays a great role in the degrading of a PSU is its age.
The durability of capacitors often dictates the state of the PSU over the years. But so does the quality of the PSU.
If you live in such a place with a lot of dust, it’s wise to change your PSU after every three years.
Replacement of PSU
We learned about the life expectancy of a PSU. It’s going to die out eventually. And if you’re not planning to go live in a cave, then you have to plan a replacement.
In this segment, we’re going to learn about when it’s time to look for a new, better PSU.
When You Need a Replacement
After a particular span of time, it’s better to change your power supply unit. This time period is generally 5 years. A faulty power supply to your unit can cause computer disturbances.
But how will you be confirmed that it’s time to change your PSU. Below we discuss a few ways to figure out if you need a new power supply unit.
Power supply aging is an obvious way to find out if you need to change your PSU.
If you start noticing a huge decline in your PSUs performance after 5 years of service, change it.
But be careful about the specifications of your PC before buying a new PSU. Your PSU needs to be compatible with the other important components of your PC. Or else, your new PSU won’t function to begin with.
Programs Crash Without Corresponding Software Issues
Your software might freeze, for an app may crash while working. These are the symptoms that you need to pay attention to. Sometimes it may be for an update. Otherwise, it shows that you have a faulty PSU.
Random Blue Screen Crashes
If you have random blue screen crashes, you need to check your power supply unit. Make sure that it is not due to any accident made in the base code. Otherwise, it symbolizes you have a faulty PSU.
Unknown PC Case Noises
Unknown noises coming from the PC case normally denote that something came loose. If you hear any odd sound, it may be because of your power supply unit.
Fans Turn on But Nothing Else
It might happen to you that when you turn on your computer, the only device working is the fan. It denotes that your power supply has been under immense pressure for a long time.
GPU-Intensive Programs Start Having Issues
An obvious indicator of a faulty power supply unit is a function of GPU-intensive programs. When you have a worn-out power supply unit, the GPU-intensive programs will not work at all.
Looking for a power-efficient GPU that puts very less stress on the PSU? Then the MSI-Geforce-GTX-1050Ti is the best GPU for you.
You might have a fluctuation in the power supply. I and you will notice that when you run multiple devices the performance is very low.
So, How often should PSU be replaced?
You should replace your PSU after every 5-6 years or so. That’s the standard lifespan of a PSU and using it any longer won’t provide much performance. Some PSU do boast a longer lifespan, but you’ll eventually notice a dent in their performance.
Signs of a Failing PSU
An overloaded PSU makes the system shut down. A faulty power supply is a reason behind the thermal shutdown. When you have a faulty power supply, the most obvious sign is your computer won’t turn on.
A failing PSU will massively overheat and will struggle to power up all the components of the PC. And for that, you need to ensure that your PC maintains an optimal temperature.
Cooler masters are the best of the best when it comes to making PSU with the best cooling system. The Cooler Master MWE Gold 850 will make sure it never gets overloaded and stay cool even in intensive uses.
You can also rely on Cooler Master Sickleflow cooler fans to keep the interior of your PC as cool as it can be.
Suppose your computer is completely broken. Everything stopped working except the power supply. In that case, you will see the fan running. And the power LED light will still work.
If you have a faulty power supply, your computer will have random crashes. In the middle of work or video, your computer will abruptly shut down. There can be blue screen crashes too.
Clattering noise coming out of your PSU is never a good sign. This can indicate some unknown internal problems with your PSU, especially the fan. You will hear extra noises coming from the case beside the fan.
The other symptom you might find in a failing power supply is that your desktop computer components will fail repeatedly. And the computer case fan will spin but the computer won’t start.
Consequences of Using Overloaded PSU
Mild overload results in thermal shutdown. You might get people on the rails. In a decent PSU, it will shut down before causing any harm.
If it’s severely overloaded, it will shut down abruptly.
The power supply is a big challenge in the system. There can be an overloaded current. PSU shutdowns in case the current exceeds its limit.
You need to have a unit of three rails in case of a single rail supply.
The Lifespan of Unused PSU
Even an unused PSU can degrade with time.
But if the PSU is stored in a convenient environment, it will slow down the degradation. For that, you need to store your unused PSU somewhere clean and dry. Make sure that the storage doesn’t suffocate from lack of air and doesn’t give up to heat.
If you can store it accordingly the PSU lifetime should increase. it is hoped that the PSU will last for at least 6 years.
How Long Can a PC Last?
The minimum lifespan of a computer should be 3 years. But, it should be appropriately maintained. You need to update your apps routinely. The maximum lifespan of a PC is 5 to 8 years. There are advantages we get in a desktop computer. We can easily change the faulty part. And then it is again good to go.
What Happens to an Overloaded PSU?
In case of mild overload, there can be a thermal shutdown. If it overheats, PSU will shut down before any harm. A faulty PSU causes a thermal shut down.
What Happens if I Exceed the Current Limit in PSU?
The PSU will shut down. The time period of PSU is less than 1 millisecond. If you exceed the current limit more than this time period, it will shut off completely. In such cases, you have to disconnect it. Then reconnect it before operating again.
Now you know the answer to the question, do PSU degrade over time? So, replace the power supply unit of your PC after every 6 years of use.
We recommend you always choose PSUs that are fully compatible with the other essential components. Not being compatible can lead to performance issues and might also degrade your PSU.
That’s all. Take care. Bye!